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The difference between a conventional and guerrilla warfare

This solution is an explanation for students who have an interest in Military History of the differences between 'Counterforce' conflict and 'Guerrilla Warfare'. Theoretical military terminology is often used in classes without a full explanation of the history or nature of such strategies therefore I have explained the terms in a clear and succinct fashion.

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Throughout history the majority of 'regular' military forces have sought to engage in what I have termed a 'Counterforce Contest.' This theory is drawn from the work Victor Davis Hanson and other military theorists who have argued that throughout history Western nations have sought to gain military victory primarily through a single or a series of pitched battles thereby destroying the enemy. The victor would be decided through either a single decisive encounter or a war of attrition finally won by the nation with the greatest manpower and resources.(1) This was the strategy favored by the Greek city states, Rome (2) and later the Crusaders. (3) Modern wars also provides examples of this form of conflict, in both the Civil War and World War One the opposing factions primarily sought a crucial breakthrough through a war of attrition.(4)

This type of conflict can be viewed as a typical 'Counterforce Contest'. A 'Counterforce Contest' is a form of warfare in which the opposing combatants attempt to gain victory by punishing the ...

Solution Summary

A brief theoretical description of the historical and strategic differences between conventional warfare viewed as a Counterforce Contest and guerrilla warfare.